socialIy is often argued that our social identities are often characterised to be based on equality. To look further into this, this essay examines looks at how inequalities are produced and then uses two articles (The Act and Connected Lives) to show how these inequalities are evident in society. Identity is a term used difficult to pin point and describe but often refers to ourselves in first person to explain who we are in terms of age, race, sexuality etc. However, this may lead to people being classed together via a group or collective identity. This is referrered to as a social identity which is ‘An identity given by connections to other people and social situations.’ (Taylor et al., 2009, p167) Many negative connotations can derive from social classing. Taking for instance homeless people-many people as a society perceive them to be mental patients, drug addicts, alcoholics etc when the vast majority of them have merely run away from home or have found themselves in that situation from an unexpected reason such as repossession of a home. Another form of social inequality can derive from racial or ethnic identity where many of society, regardless if they are British born and have full citizenship, perceive them to be immigrants to the country in which they originally came from and can lead to some very disturbing racial inequalities and discrimination. These above identity collectives, stemmed from societies views is referred to as Othering. With reference to The Act there appears to be many aspects of unfair treatment taking place based on a very old law which hasn’t as yet been updated to move with the current times. The Vagrancy Act saw 1,220 arrests in London alone and were often for reasons such as trespassing or even begging. This law passed originally in 1824 still has much prominence in the ways in which we as a society view homeless people now which is often stemmed from our upbringing or personal encounters and experiences with homelessness and...
References: Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Hinchliffe. S. and Taylor. S. (2009) DD131 Introducing the social sciences-part 1, ‘Making Social Lives’, Milton Keynes, The Open University
‘Studying Identities’ (2009) Making Social Lives [Audio CD 2], Milton Keynes, The Open University
Raban, J. (1991) Hunting Mister Heartbreak, London, Pan
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